Thursday, September 25, 2008

Save the Trees

I hate to admit it, but I love catalogs. Paper catalogs. As a self-professed environmentalist, this is hard to share, but we all have our vices I suppose. Before my fellow tree huggers blast hate emails my way, let me explain. I'm actually not a huge shopper, but as a designer getting a well designed catalog in the mail is like strawberry pie (this is the first of many Seinfeld-isms, those who have to deal with them in person too, my apologies). There is nothing like having a bound volume of inspiration right in your hands. Many of my suppliers offer their catalogs online, but the pictures are never clear and I simply do not have the patience to deal with crappy design & slow loading times. Enter Ikea's 2009 online catalog which I stumbled upon while searching for the perfect metal baskets for my newly refurbished 1930's steel cabinet. Ikea, marketing gurus that they are, have brought the online catalog to a new level. The flash based application literally makes you feel as if you are holding the catalog in your hands. The pages actually turn and when you roll over an item it is highlighted and you can zoom in or get more information on it. The images are crisp & clear and just like the paper version they somehow make their product seem like must-haves (until you go to the store and see everything in person and you are snapped back into reality of course). Anyhow, take a look at these industry leaders and if you have an online shop with online catalogs, please take note and follow their example.